Building Social Institutions
Community mobilization is one of the most important factors in social work. VOSARD has been focusing on uplifting the poor and weaker sections of the society right from the beginning. Through self-help initiatives and capacitating them to be a part of the main stream society. Besides providing financial assistance, orientation classes and leadership trainings are conducted for SHG Self Help Group members. A micro credit financing system is widely introduced among the different groups. SHGs of men as well as women are formed as per the norms of NABARD. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Over 11000 families of the target groups located in the remote and hilly terrain of the Idukki District are organized into SHGs. Today, more than 625 SHGs are functioning very effectively in the area. VOSARD has also framed 30 clusters and an apex federation to coordinate and capacitate the people's structures through decentralized planning, local linkages, collaborations and collective action. Those structures are very helpful as they enable an easier and efficient implementation of different projects that include the beneficiaries participation. They also provide an easy and efficient flow of information from VOSARD (mother organization) to the grass root level.
Micro Credit System
A thrift and credit system as been introduced to all our SHGs and especially among women to promote economic empowerment. The micro credit system is enableing the people to initiate small ventures to secure a stable income. The apex federation is coordinating and supervising the financial activities of 30 clusters and 625 SHGs. This network facilitates VOSARD to make best use of revolving funds created from various completed projects for continuing the development. Along with the Apex Link, we facilitate and coordinate linkages with banks for availing credit facilities and loans by SHGs and clusters for running their income generation activities and micro-enterprises.
Story of Deepthi
The Self Help Group Deepthi was founded in the Chakkuppallam Panchayat of the Idukki District in 1998 and contained 20 members. First the group started to collect Rs. 10 per member every week as savings. As the time passed by, the amount of savings increased up to Rs. 100 per week. Now the total amount of savings per head is Rs. 28300. Every week, the members have the possibility to take loans from the collected money for their needs which they can repay at another meeting. The service charges of Rs. 50 for bigger amounts are collected and divided in equal parts among the members every year. During the meetings the members also discuss their problems related to health, family, work or the children's studies. The directions given by VOSARD through various trainings help the members to increase their income, health situation and overall standard of living. In addition VOSARD helps with interest free loans e. g. for dairy units, cattle sheds, biogas plants, organic farming, housing or goat rearing units.